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Special Needs Arts concert Sunday at First Parish

Posted by Nicholas Goss  March 29, 2011 11:00 AM

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Lexington resident Jill O’Reilly said she is grateful to her hometown’s Special Needs Arts Programs for the activities and social opportunities enjoyed by her 26-year-old daughter.

‘‘Rebecca has four housemates and she’s in a day program, but this gives her another group of people to interact with,’’ said O’Reilly, an artist and jewelry maker who donated pieces for the organization’s fund-raisers even before she joined its board three years ago. ‘‘It’s a social outlet for me as well, with a wonderful group that shares a common passion.’’

Founded by Lexington resident Marilyn Abel in 1981, the nonprofit SNAP (formerly called the Special Needs Arts Fund) offers integrated sing-along choruses for teens and adults, and a music-therapy program for younger children.

Rebecca sang in the chorus for a year at age 18, but found her niche when the Special Artists crafts program opened in the fall of 2008 at the Bedford Center for the Arts, O’Reilly said. Sessions run for six weeks each fall and spring.

The artists’ work will be on display during the Special Needs Arts Spring Concert, featuring performances by the program’s choruses next Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at First Parish in Lexington, 7 Harrington Road.

Cards featuring a composite photograph of the artists’ colorfully decorated tote bags will be available for $2.50 at the free concert and at Wales Copy Shop, 1810 Massachusetts Ave. in Lexington.

The photographs were taken by SNAP artist Greg Trakimas of Stoneham.‘‘So many people contribute an incredible amount of time and talent to this organization,’’ O’Reilly said.

For more information, call 781-862-7179 or visit www.snapsing.org.

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